Technology I Almost Love

I've posted before about my paperless office. In fact, today I'm completely paperless with the exception of the litter that comes across my desk from other people in the office who aren't yet on the paperless bandwagon...

... and books.

I really never thought I would stop buying hard copies of books. I read a bunch of books (somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 per year) and feel like I retain more if I can write all over the things I'm reading. Plus, I like having a record of my thinking when I look back at a book I read several years before.

Then I discovered the Kindle, which would allow me to highlight and make notes to myself which the Kindle saves as a .txt file and allows me to upload to my computer. That means every passage I highlight; every note I make can be saved to my laptop and searched. 

As a pastor, the ability to search my highlights and notes gives me a gigantic advantage. In the past, if a book quote was going to help me prepare for a sermon I would have had to remember the quote and the book where I read it. My memory just isn't that good. Now, if I've highlighted a quote I can find it again using a simple desktop search. That's a huge deal.

Today, I almost love the Kindle and am this close to going entirely paperless.


Until Amazon decides to do away with the ridiculous "location number" replacement for page numbers, I'm holding out. I hope you will too.

I know Amazon says it wants the user to be able to change font size and spacing, but that's not a valid excuse. I've had Libronix for years and can change the font size and spacing on those books while knowing which page I'm on. If Libronix could figure it out fifteen years, Amazon should be able to as well.

I do far too many book studies with people who still use paper-bound books. When they refer to something on "page 32," I'm out of the conversation. Not to mention the fact that websites that cite books only cite page numbers; books that cite other books only cite page numbers; and footnotes only cite page numbers.

Be on the lookout as the technology develops. Right now the Kindle's competitors are much more user friendly but lack the same book selection that the Kindle offers. In the near future, one of two things will happen: the competitors will catch up on selection and take the market for the technology, or Amazon will decide to stop being silly and do a couple of small things to put their product over the top.

I'll be patient. Until then, I'm stuck with technology that I only almost love.


lisa said...

I got a NookColor for Christmas, and it numbers their books the same as the paper versions. It's a huge plus, but you're right about the limited selection. I'm actually commenting right now from my Nook. :)